Overlander Spotlight: Giles the Rover

Today, April 30th, is World Land Rover Day. To get in the spirit of one of our favorite overlanding platforms, we’re excited to introduce you to Giles the Rover. Giles is the trusty companion of Jason Heaton — writer, adventurer, diver, product journalist, and watch enthusiast. We caught up with Jason to get the skinny on his rig.

When was Giles born and how long have you had him?
It’s a 1976 Land Rover Series III. Eagle-eyed Roverites will notice that the UK plates indicate a ’67 Series IIA, which I chalk up to some licensing or insurance shenanigans across the pond, but trust me, it’s a Series III through and through. I acquired it three years ago from a tractor engineer who imported it from an estate in Dundee, Scotland.

Can you tell us a bit about your favorite mod or feature?
The ability to fix just about anything on it with ordinary hand tools is s big plus. I love that it even came with a hand crank handle in case the starter motor is kaput, which I got to take advantage of in the first month of ownership. The only real “mods” I’ve done were to return it to the original spec limestone colored steel rims, and I added a set of fog lamps to the front. The secret lockable under seat storage box (shhh) is a great place to store tools and spares. Within the week, I’ll be adding an overdrive unit to the transfer case, which will up the top speed from 45mph to over 60, meaning I can venture further afield.

What’s been your favorite thing to do with Giles so far?
The lack of top end speed means most trips have been close to home. But it is a year round daily driver and I’ve enjoyed towing small Hyundais from snowbanks after Minnesota snowstorms.

Where to next? What’s your dream expedition?
I’d love to go north of the border and get lost in northern Ontario or do the full Great Lakes circle tour, camping along the way.

You can follow Giles and Jason on Instagram. And get to know Jason better through his work on HODINKEE and The Grey NATO podcast.